Friday, August 10, 2007

Consolidation at MediaNews threatens SF Bay Area newspaper workers' protections *

A plan to consolidate editorial functions of the six-paper Alameda Newspaper Group (ANG) and the five-paper Contra Costa Newspapers, could mean the end of the Newspaper Guild unit at one of the entities, union leaders fear. “I think he wants to get rid of us,” Doug Cuthbertson, executive officer of the Northern California Media Workers, said about MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton. “The group we represent would be a minority of the [combined] editorial staff and they believe they could withdraw representation.”

In a Call to Action to other MediaNews Guild members, ANG members wrote in part "Our union, which we have fought almost 20 years to maintain, is under attack. Our long-won right to collective bargaining, it seems, is being ignored. Our voice in our own future is being threatened. We are outraged, and we are fighting - hard. If the company denies our existence, we must deny them their right to do so."

Related:'s take on MediaNews' success that is "based on aggressive cost controls, rather than journalistic excellence.”

* UPDATE: Guild disputes withdrawal of recognition during consolidation process

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